Fra eneveldets scene mot representative forsamlinger: visitasen som offentlig arena i Norge, ca. 1750–1850
Keywords:absolutism, church, public arenas, representation, social control, visitations
From the Stage of State Power to Representative Assembly?: The Visitation as a Public Arena, 1750–1850
In the eighteenth century, the bishops’ visitations to dioceses constituted an important part of the control apparatus of the Church and the absolutist state. The article examines visitations in Norway in terms of public arenas, where the common people interacted with Church officials. During the period 1750 to 1850, the visitations were gradually transformed from arenas in which the state manifested its power towards a largely undifferentiated populace, to meeting places that resembled representative assemblies with both clerical and common lay members. Thus, it adapted to new forms of public participation established by the reforms of national and local government in the first half of the nineteenth century. At the same time, the process amounted to an elitization, because a few representatives replaced of the congregation as a whole. It is also argued that parish churches in the eighteenth century functioned as general public forums with a number of other functions in addition to worship, such as being places of trade and festivities. This seems to change in the nineteenth century, when churches became more exclusively religious arenas. The transition can be seen in the context of new forms of participation in Church matters. Many clerics wanted greater participation by sections of the commoners, in order to strengthen control in moral and religious matters.
Since 2013, 1700-tal publishes all content online, currently with a one-year delay after the printed version is distributed.
Copyright on any content in 1700-tal is retained by the author(s).
Authors grant 1700-tal a license to publish their contributions in print and online or any other medium and to identify itself as the original publisher.
Authors give 1700-tal the right to distribute their contributions freely under a Creative Commons Attribution License. This implies that any third party has the right to use the contribution freely, provided that its original author(s), citation details and publisher are identified.
For more information on the Creative Commons Attribution License see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Authors have the right to self-archive their contribution in its final form (publisher’s PDF) as soon as the printed version has been distributed.